COVETEOUSNESS

 

DEFINITION:  Covetousness is a driving desire to have that which one does not possess, control, have access to, use of, or authority over.

FACTS ABOUT COVETEOUSNESS:

Covetousness is sin.  The Bible declares:  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor” (Exodus 20:17).

Covetousness results from a love of the world.  The Bible warns:  “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:15-17, NKJV).

Covetousness comes from your heart.  Jesus said:  “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-33, KJV).

DEALING WITH  COVETEOUSNESS:

Ask God to forgive your covetousness.  Covetousness is sin, and as all sin, confession and repentance is required.

Ask God to change your heart.  Covetousness comes from the heart.  Pray the prayer of the psalmist:  “Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain” (Psalm 119:36)

Ask God to help you order your priorities.  Make spiritual things your desire and priority instead of coveting after carnal things: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:31-33).

WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT COVETEOUSNESS:

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Exodus 20:17).

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. (Psalm 119:36)

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:31-33)

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. (Mark 7:21-33, KJV)

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. (1 Timothy 6:10-11, KJV)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5, KJV)

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:1-3)

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.  (1 John 2:15-17, NKJV)

(See also “Envy And Jealousy” in this database.)

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